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Law AQA Unit 3 OFFICIAL THREAD 12th June 2014 watch

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    Anyone else taking this exam ?
    If so reckon Non fatal is NOT going to come up as it has come so much for the evaluation .. i'm thinking murder imo

    Good luck
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    damn, thats the easiset of the essays, Im hoping for defences then.
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    Just writing up some answers to the evaluation questions that I want to learn so I have a pre planned answer for each of the 3 potential questions that could come up.

    I believe im right in saying that for a murder/voluntary manslaughter evaluation question requires

    PCA - Murder (Criticisms)
    PCB - Diminished Responsibility & Loss of Control (Criticisms of each)
    PCC - Reforms

    That's all fine, my only issue is how many points/paragraphs to write for each of the potential content, there is so much I could write about but bearing in mind ill have about 25 minutes to write it, I need to make sure I don't waffle on too much so want to go into the exam with a pre planned answer.

    Just wrote an answer up quickly following this structure:

    PARAGRAPH 1 - Murder General Criticism (Outdated language)

    PARAGRAPH 2- Murder Criticism of Actus Reus (Reasonable Creature - foetus)

    PARAGRAPH 3 - Murder Criticism of Mens Rea (Intention issues)

    PARAGRAPH 4 - Murder Reforms (First/Second Degree Murder)

    PARAGRAPH 5 - Diminished Responsibility Criticism (Burden of Proof)

    PARAGRAPH 6 - Diminished Responsibility Strengths (Reforms C&J Act 09)

    PARAGRAPH 7 - Loss of Control Criticism (Sexual Infidelity)

    PARAGRAPH 8 - Loss of Control Strengths (C&J Act 09 - Provocation)


    I wasn't really given any model answers or help on how to structure this particular question, so I would welcome any constructive advice on how to improve it. Im worried that ive possibly spent too much time discussing murder (3 criticisms - general/actus reus/mens rea) and not enough time criticising loss of control and diminished responsibility (only 1 criticism each - sexual infidelity/burden of proof). The essay takes up almost 4 sides of A4, so I cant really make it any longer, as I wont physically be able to write quick enough. I

    f anybody has any sample answers or plans that they wouldn't mind sharing, or just general advice, that would be great... thanks!!!
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    (Original post by rhysvol1995)
    Just writing up some answers to the evaluation questions that I want to learn so I have a pre planned answer for each of the 3 potential questions that could come up.

    I believe im right in saying that for a murder/voluntary manslaughter evaluation question requires

    PCA - Murder (Criticisms)
    PCB - Diminished Responsibility & Loss of Control (Criticisms of each)
    PCC - Reforms

    That's all fine, my only issue is how many points/paragraphs to write for each of the potential content, there is so much I could write about but bearing in mind ill have about 25 minutes to write it, I need to make sure I don't waffle on too much so want to go into the exam with a pre planned answer.

    Just wrote an answer up quickly following this structure:

    PARAGRAPH 1 - Murder General Criticism (Outdated language)

    PARAGRAPH 2- Murder Criticism of Actus Reus (Reasonable Creature - foetus)

    PARAGRAPH 3 - Murder Criticism of Mens Rea (Intention issues)

    PARAGRAPH 4 - Murder Reforms (First/Second Degree Murder)

    PARAGRAPH 5 - Diminished Responsibility Criticism (Burden of Proof)

    PARAGRAPH 6 - Diminished Responsibility Strengths (Reforms C&J Act 09)

    PARAGRAPH 7 - Loss of Control Criticism (Sexual Infidelity)

    PARAGRAPH 8 - Loss of Control Strengths (C&J Act 09 - Provocation)


    I wasn't really given any model answers or help on how to structure this particular question, so I would welcome any constructive advice on how to improve it. Im worried that ive possibly spent too much time discussing murder (3 criticisms - general/actus reus/mens rea) and not enough time criticising loss of control and diminished responsibility (only 1 criticism each - sexual infidelity/burden of proof). The essay takes up almost 4 sides of A4, so I cant really make it any longer, as I wont physically be able to write quick enough. I

    f anybody has any sample answers or plans that they wouldn't mind sharing, or just general advice, that would be great... thanks!!!

    I am having trouble on the reforms for vol man slaughter do you have any tips
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    (Original post by Ferrari94)
    I am having trouble on the reforms for vol man slaughter do you have any tips
    For loss of control I did a paragraph explaining that the reforms in C&J act 2009 abolished the old law of provocation, replacing it with l.o.c and explained what the benefits of this were.

    I then went on to explain 2 criticisms of the new law of loss of control:
    - women in abusive relationships often kill due to combination of emotions (fear, anger, deseration, frustration) so may find it hard to raise l.o.c
    - exclusion of sexual infidelity. why is sexual infidelity singled out for exclusion rather than other causes? what actually amounts to "sexual infidelity"?

    I then said that the C&J act also improved the defence of Diminished responsibility. The definition was modernised, as the term "registered medical condition" allows for future medical developments. The definition also outlined what aspect of mental functioning has to be 'substantially impaired' so the defence is less vague than it previously was.

    I then said however despite the reforms the law is still seen as unsatisfactory...

    2 criticisms:

    - developmental immaturity (u18's frontal lobes of brain, responsible for self control/impulsive behaviour, not fully developed. yet they cannot raise the defence)
    - burden of proof in on defendant (conflicts with human rights "innocent till proven guilty")





    Along with 3 criticisms of murder & reforms, it seems like an awful lot to write in 25 minutes! Hoping this one doesn't come up but its probably the most likely out of the 3 possible q's
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    (Original post by rhysvol1995)
    For loss of control I did a paragraph explaining that the reforms in C&J act 2009 abolished the old law of provocation, replacing it with l.o.c and explained what the benefits of this were.

    I then went on to explain 2 criticisms of the new law of loss of control:
    - women in abusive relationships often kill due to combination of emotions (fear, anger, deseration, frustration) so may find it hard to raise l.o.c
    - exclusion of sexual infidelity. why is sexual infidelity singled out for exclusion rather than other causes? what actually amounts to "sexual infidelity"?

    I then said that the C&J act also improved the defence of Diminished responsibility. The definition was modernised, as the term "registered medical condition" allows for future medical developments. The definition also outlined what aspect of mental functioning has to be 'substantially impaired' so the defence is less vague than it previously was.

    I then said however despite the reforms the law is still seen as unsatisfactory...

    2 criticisms:

    - developmental immaturity (u18's frontal lobes of brain, responsible for self control/impulsive behaviour, not fully developed. yet they cannot raise the defence)
    - burden of proof in on defendant (conflicts with human rights "innocent till proven guilty")





    Along with 3 criticisms of murder & reforms, it seems like an awful lot to write in 25 minutes! Hoping this one doesn't come up but its probably the most likely out of the 3 possible q's
    Thank you very much
    I can't see fatal coming up as it come uo twice in succession I think
    Feeling murder to be fair

    How's the unit 4 essays coming along ?
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    yo yo yo, I'm not sure if anyone will see this in time since the exam is tomorrow, but here are a load of notes I've made for the unit 3 essay question
    Attached Files
  1. File Type: docx Essay notes.docx (118.9 KB, 1373 views)
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    Hi quick question about this exam? Does a murder questions always get asked on one of the scenario's because looking back at past papers it seems to but i want to be sure?!
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    I think it does, otherwise it will just be about non fatals and thats nothing new (from unit 2), the thing with murder is that it could either be that or involuntary manslaughter
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    yeah ok thanks
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    My perfect exam would be:

    - Murder with oblique intent and diminished responsibility with intoxication
    - S47ABH with defence of consent and insanity
    - Evaluation of murder and voluntary manslaughter
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    Hi guys. This is going to sound ridiculous, but we haven't had a proper teacher at college since December, and I've literally just found out about the evaluation question. Can anyone give me some help on how to evaluate each of the offences?


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    (Original post by deaflad)
    My perfect exam would be:

    - Murder with oblique intent and diminished responsibility with intoxication
    - S47ABH with defence of consent and insanity
    - Evaluation of murder and voluntary manslaughter
    Yeah I want a evaluation of murder to come that's my favourite one
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    (Original post by ChloeBelle)
    Hi guys. This is going to sound ridiculous, but we haven't had a proper teacher at college since December, and I've literally just found out about the evaluation question. Can anyone give me some help on how to evaluate each of the offences?


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    aw you're joking! that's really annoying they're quite hard essays! i can attach my model answers for you if you like to have a look at
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    Here's my murder evaluation

    The law in relation to unlawful killing has been criticised and has been argued that it’s in need of updating. A report by the Law Commission in 2006 made numerous criticisms of murder and it’s special defence of diminished responsibility and loss of control.

    The first criticism is that the offence is defined in common law and not by statute, which makes it difficult to follow. This means the law has been developed bit by bit and judges have made inconsistent decisions. This can be seen from the mens rea of murder and the meaning of intention. The House of Lords has tried to explain what effect foresight of consequences has as in Moloney where Lord Bridge said explanation of intent and leave it to the jury. In Woollin the HoL said intention could be found from foresight of consequences. This shows the law is uncertain and unclear.

    A second criticism is the serious harm rule which is now 200 years old. The LC’s 2006 report pointed out when Parliament passed the Homicide Act they only intended a killing to amount to murder if the d realised their conduct might cause a death. In some cases the d might not even realise that death could occur but they are still as guilty as someone who deliberately kills.

    Another criticism is the mandatory life sentence for murder. For d’s 18 and over that are convicted of murder the judge has to pass a life sentence and will then state the minimum number of years the d must serve before they are eligible for parole. The CJA does give guidelines on minimum sentences but these have been criticised because they don’t have differentiation between levels of blameworthiness. However discretion in sentencing is allowed if the d successfully pleads a loss of control or diminished responsibility.

    The LC recommended that murder should be separated in to a two tier offence, first degree murder and second dregree murder. First degree murder would be for those who intend to kill or cause serious harm and know there’s a risk of death this would carry a mandatory life sentence. Second degree murder would be for those who cause death by a serious injury but are unaware of the risk of death, this would carry a maximum life sentence would the judge would have discretion.

    In 2008 the government rejected the LC’s proposals and the only reform that was implemented was in the CJA to provide a defence for D’s who kill through excessive force in self defence.

    Voluntary manslaughter has also been criticised. The old defence of provocation was defined by common law hundreds of years ago and although some of the tests were included in the Homicide Act a complete definition wasn’t included. The CJA replaced provocation with LoC which some argue is wider because the LoC doesn’t have to be sudden and a fear of serious violence can be considered. Another problem with provocation however is the reasonable man test which actually means adult but in Camplin was used against a 15 year old. LoC could also be argued to be narrower because sexual infidelity can no longer be used as a qualifying trigger.

    Despite recent reforms some still argue that LoC is too restrictive. The LC has proposed removing LoC completely and focusing on problems with abusive relationship cases which aren’t necessarily a LoC. It’s also been argued that it’s unfair that sexual infidelity is no longer a qualifying trigger as it is highly likely that someone may lose control after finding out about a partner having an affair.
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    Here's the general defences one, i chose to only talk about intoxication and insanity though.

    The general defence of insanity has been criticised over many years and is in need of reform. The M’Naughten rules, which define the defence were created in the 1800’s when there was little understanding of psychiatric illness however despite development an insanity plea today must still satisfy the M’Naughten rules. Recommendations by the Royal Commission of Capital Punishment were not applied although some criticisms were addressed with the introduction of diminished responsibility for murder.

    The first criticism of insanity is the definition, which is legal not medical meaning that people suffering from certain mental disorders are excluded for example psychopaths as in Byrne who are clinically but not legally insane. However, those suffering from physical illnesses such as epilepsy as in Sullivan, sleepwalking as in Burgess and diabetes as in Hennessy may be considered legally insane, even though with these cases people can often control their condition with medication. A further issue here is that detaining people with these conditions could breach article 5 of the HRA.

    Some have argued that it is unfair that the burden of proof is on the D to prove that on the balance of probabilities they are suffering from insanity because this goes against the concept that the D should be innocent until proven guilty. This make it confusing, inconsistent and adds confusion for the jury. The Butler Committee and the Criminal Law Revision Committee suggest the burden of proof should be on the prosecution.

    Another criticism of the defence of insanity is that at a trial involving a plea of insanity there will be conflicting medical evidence given by both the prosecution and the defence, however the final decision of whether the D is legally insane or not is left to unqualified people, the jury, who have to choose between the expert evidence they’ve been given and decide for themselves whether the D is insane or not. Some have questioned whether the defence of insanity should be available for all crimes even those not requiring mens rea. The Royal Commission on Capital Punishment found the M’Naughten rules inadequate and they recommended that mental deficiency be considered a factor.

    Another suggestion for reform is that there is no need for the defence of insanity to exist as all and those suffering from insanity should be dealt with outside the criminal justice system.

    The first criticism of intoxication is the Majewski rule, which ignored the legal principle that the actus reus and the mens rea must correspond. It could also be argued that the recklessness shown by the D in becoming intoxicated means the D has taken the risk of doing something stupid when they are drunk. However the decision in Richardson and Irwin shows a different approach and makes the law fairer by allowing magistrates or a jury to consider whether the D would of realised the risk if they had not been drinking.

    The second criticism is stated by Lord Mustill in R v Kingston where he said he was unsure if a clear line could be drawn between offences of specific and basic intent. For example charged with theft could be acquitted if they successfully plead intoxication as there is no lesser offence however with s18 of the OAPA failure of the defence will result in the charge being lowered to s20 of the OAPA.
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    and here's my one for the non-fatal offences but i doubt this one will come up

    The non-fatal offences (NFO) are often criticised and have been accepted they are in need of reform. The NFO’s are assault, battery, ABH, wounding and GBH s20 and s18. The criticisms are the structure of the law, the choice of language and the absence of a clear hierarchy of the offences. The law commission hopes to commence work on a reform this year, which will aim to restructure the law in the OAPA.

    The first criticism is that the structure of the law is too complex because it’s made up of both statute and common law and there are lots of cases, which interpret the act differently. The OAPA is over 140 years old and was passed as an establishing statute that brought together a large number of offences with no clear attempt to use common terminology or distinguish between the seriousness of the injuries caused. Professor Smith said the limitations of the act were known when it was created and it’s wrong that so much of it remains in the law.

    The second criticism is the act uses outdated and confusing language, which causes a large amount of appeals. Professor Smith stated the structure of s47, s20 and s18 are so complicated that mistakes are bound to happen. It’s also an issue that the act doesn’t clearly define ABH, malicious wounding or GBH. Guidance was given for ABH in the cases of Miller and Chan-fook but no precise meaning. In s20 and s18 wounding is too broad and malicious has been said to mean intention or recklessness. GBH has been said to mean really serious harm in Smith but just serious harm in Saunders. In Goulding, the d was convicted under s20 with GBH for transmission of herpes, which has been criticised because the transmission is less serious than that of HIV and should therefore have been ABH.

    The third criticism is the hierarchy of the NFO’s because the OAPA doesn’t provide a clear ladder of offences and instead focuses on the type of injury caused rather than the level or seriousness. For example assault and battery hold a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment whereas ABH carries 5 years though the only difference is that if ABH is caused to the V the D will be convicted with ABH and could go to prison for a much longer time. Also s20 is describes as much more serious than s47 yet holds the same maximum sentence. There is also too much of a leap from s20 carrying a maximum sentence of 5 years to s18 carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

    In 1998 the Home Office issues a Draft Criminal Law Bill, which was based on the recommendations made by the Law Commission in 1993. This included simplified definitions of assault and battery and improvement to the language used in the NFO sentencing. They suggested replacing s47 ABH with the offence of intentionally or recklessly causing injury to another with a maximum sentence of 3 years. They also suggested replacing s18 and s20 with separate offences of recklessly causing serious harm, which would carry a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and intentionally causing serious harm, which would carry a maximum life sentence.
    The Draft Bill has also received much criticism, which led to a lack of progress in its introduction. Some argued that the new s47 offence should be split into two offences intentionally causing injury to another and recklessly causing injury to another, which would bring the offences in line with those in s20 and s18. The word serious was still undefined and the new definition of injury didn’t clearly state what was sufficient for an injury. Also assault continues to mean both an assault and a battery.
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    Really tempting not to revise my non-fatals essay but Sod's Law is bound to state that they put put it two years in a row just for me.
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    (Original post by efinerty)
    Here's the general defences one, i chose to only talk about intoxication and insanity though.

    The general defence of insanity has been criticised over many years and is in need of reform. The M’Naughten rules, which define the defence were created in the 1800’s when there was little understanding of psychiatric illness however despite development an insanity plea today must still satisfy the M’Naughten rules. Recommendations by the Royal Commission of Capital Punishment were not applied although some criticisms were addressed with the introduction of diminished responsibility for murder.

    The first criticism of insanity is the definition, which is legal not medical meaning that people suffering from certain mental disorders are excluded for example psychopaths as in Byrne who are clinically but not legally insane. However, those suffering from physical illnesses such as epilepsy as in Sullivan, sleepwalking as in Burgess and diabetes as in Hennessy may be considered legally insane, even though with these cases people can often control their condition with medication. A further issue here is that detaining people with these conditions could breach article 5 of the HRA.

    Some have argued that it is unfair that the burden of proof is on the D to prove that on the balance of probabilities they are suffering from insanity because this goes against the concept that the D should be innocent until proven guilty. This make it confusing, inconsistent and adds confusion for the jury. The Butler Committee and the Criminal Law Revision Committee suggest the burden of proof should be on the prosecution.

    Another criticism of the defence of insanity is that at a trial involving a plea of insanity there will be conflicting medical evidence given by both the prosecution and the defence, however the final decision of whether the D is legally insane or not is left to unqualified people, the jury, who have to choose between the expert evidence they’ve been given and decide for themselves whether the D is insane or not. Some have questioned whether the defence of insanity should be available for all crimes even those not requiring mens rea. The Royal Commission on Capital Punishment found the M’Naughten rules inadequate and they recommended that mental deficiency be considered a factor.

    Another suggestion for reform is that there is no need for the defence of insanity to exist as all and those suffering from insanity should be dealt with outside the criminal justice system.

    The first criticism of intoxication is the Majewski rule, which ignored the legal principle that the actus reus and the mens rea must correspond. It could also be argued that the recklessness shown by the D in becoming intoxicated means the D has taken the risk of doing something stupid when they are drunk. However the decision in Richardson and Irwin shows a different approach and makes the law fairer by allowing magistrates or a jury to consider whether the D would of realised the risk if they had not been drinking.

    The second criticism is stated by Lord Mustill in R v Kingston where he said he was unsure if a clear line could be drawn between offences of specific and basic intent. For example charged with theft could be acquitted if they successfully plead intoxication as there is no lesser offence however with s18 of the OAPA failure of the defence will result in the charge being lowered to s20 of the OAPA.
    All your evaluations seems really short
    have these been marked by your teacher as A grades ???
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    (Original post by Ryan96)
    Really tempting not to revise my non-fatals essay but Sod's Law is bound to state that they put put it two years in a row just for me.
    Literally mate. My murder essay is 25/25 and i know it word for word - the defences is probably around 21/25 and i know that word for word also.

    My non fatals is 25/25 as its out of that law revision book which gives model answers.

    However non fatals has come up 2/4 previous papers - really think its going to come up again ??? - doubt it
 
 
 
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